Future options for sewage and drainage systems three scenarios for transitions and continuity

Karel Mulder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


The challenge of sustainable development requires cities to aim for drastic improvements in the systems that support its vital functions. Innovating these systems can be extremely hard, and might take lots of time. A transparent and democratic strategy is important to guarantee support for change. Such a process should aim at developing consensus regarding a basic vision to guide the process of systems change. This paper sketches future options for the development of sanitation- and urban drainage systems in industrialized economies. It will provide an analysis of relevant trends for sewage system innovation. In history, sewage systems have emerged from urban sewage and precipitation removal systems, to urban sewage and precipitation removal and cleaning systems. The challenge for the future is recovering energy and resources from sewage systems while maintaining/improving its sanitary service and lowering its emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1383
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Sewage systems
  • Systems innovation
  • Systems strategy
  • Urban sustainability


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